*** had problems with the site and this post dropped off for some unknown reason. Reposting it now. If you read it before, it’s the same now.
i was recently asked, “What was the toughest part of transitioning to this lifestyle?”
It occurred to me maybe others wonder this too. SO…. i decided to post about this. And maybe some of my favorite people (with even more experience than me!) can comment also and give even more insight on their experiences too!
There have been a few things that have been hard actually. Here’s a couple that i can immediately think of: 1) learning to forgive myself. When David says penance has been served and it is truly “over” it really is! and 2) to not give up on this lifestyle when it doesn’t work right away, but to communicate and work out the details and try again.
But the single thing that has personally been “the” hardest for me, and i want to spend the rest of this post talking about is……
Learning to curb my tongue.
In the past, when i had something to say, i said it! Without any real regard to how it was said…. tone, wording, timing. None of it.
i felt i had the right to speak my mind to my husband…. anytime i wanted and specivically in any way i wanted. We were equals after all!
But looking back on it now, i realize i said things in ways that were quite frankly rude, disrespectful, or even demeaning.
i’d tell you that i spoke to coworkers or friends in ways that were better than how i spoke to David. i didn’t mean to and i never saw it that way then. But i certainly do now. Now my eye glass lenses have been adjusted to see with 20/20 vision! And i don’t especially like what i see now for how things were then.
i felt though that i could “speak my mind in honesty” with him, where i couldn’t with others. And while that is still true now (that i can speak my mind to him), i didn’t pay any attention to HOW i said it to him. Whereas now, i absolutely do!
Also i never had the right to speak down to him (or to coworkers about him) that used words that (effectively) raise me up above him. But i did. i’d say things like, “Are you sureeeeee that’s the best way to do that?” implying that MY way was better or more superior, but of course, making him guess what that was or even goading him into asking me “and what way is that?”
At the time, i didn’t ever see it tis way (demeaning, degrading) at all. Not really anyway. Oh i suppose there were times that i’d think, “I probably shouldn’t have said it like that.” But that was that and i’d subsequently think, “oh well” too.
With clearer eye sight, it’s easy to see things differently now. i now don’t see my behavior then as acceptable at all. Honestly, i was out of line. Even “IF” we were equal, and i had the right to speak my mind, the way it was done was not at all respectful or kind. i know that now. In fact, i am now rather embarrassed at how i acted then.
But through these new lenses, this negative way of speaking to or about your spouse seems to be what i see as the norm for a lot of people. So in some ways, i guess you could say i only did what others do. But that doesn’t make it right!
Here’s an example…. My coworkers say things like, “yeah, my husband was a dumb ass this weekend…” and proceed to tell us what so-called stupid thing their husband did. And of course, her words already set the stage to imply she wouldn’t’ have done it that way and her way was more superior. Raising herself up and ultimately putting him down too.
Or another coworkers said this week, “I have to leave early to take my daughter to the doctor. My husband screwed it up last time. So I’m going to do it myself today.” Obviously saying she could get it done “right” compared to him not being able to. And further, he’s not even capable (or worth her time) to try to educate him on what this “right” way is also!
But … it’s been a “process” to change. And one i have had to truly commit to and work at. i’ve had to be very intentional to hold my tongue, reword things in a positive/ better way, determine what really should be said (or not), and how to defer to him. Always.
And honestly, David has held me to it too. He raises his eyebrows or says, “you sure you wnat to continue speaking to me this way?” It tells me that he never really liked the way i treated or talked to him before, but he rather just tolerated it.
But now he has authority to do something about it too! Before if there was something he didn’t like, there wasn’t much that could be done. And now an “attitude adjustment” ensues if i were to continue on the negative talk path.
i’m glad i made the transition. i’m glad i show, act, and display more respect to my husband directly, but also to my coworkers and friends. i no longer engage in office banter about how “stupid” my husband was, but rather i speak the opposite. “We had an amazing weekend where i got to enjoy spending time with my husband. He makes me happy.”
And it’s true. i do believe it with my whole heart – he does make me happy! And yet, curbing my tongue was a process and definitely not an easy one!